Scott County auditor to ask board of supervisors for spending authority to mail absentee ballot requests

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Scott County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections Roxanna Moritz is asking the Scott County Board of Supervisors for spending authority to mail absentee ballot requests to county voters ahead of the June 2 Primary Election, she said Monday.

Early voting for the 2020 Presidential Preference Primary kicked off Monday in Bay County. (MGN)

Moritz said she is seeking this authority to reduce in-person voting in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. She will make the request at the supervisor’s committee of the whole meeting Thursday.

“We cannot call off or postpone the election, but we can take steps to limit the public’s exposure to the coronavirus,” Moritz said in a media release. “Encouraging people to vote by mail-in ballots will limit the number of voters at the polls and thereby limit exposure. While we can’t mail ballots directly to voters we can send them request forms and then mail ballots once voters return those requests,” she said.

She added, “We can provide ballots to those who want to vote but also ease their concerns about going to the polls and who want to limit their exposure.”

An additional concern, she said, is protecting precinct officials.

“The average age of poll workers falls within the age range where COVID 19 presents special dangers," Moritz said. "Having poll workers get sick from COVID-19 will discourage people from what is essentially a volunteer position. The long term effects would very damaging for recruiting and retaining workers. Besides, I personally care for the County’s poll workers and want to keep them safe.”